Having photos taken can be a bit strange. We're all a little self conscious, and most of us have childhood memories of mums taking ages to fiddle with the camera while you KEEP SMILING! There have probably been a few photos over the years you've liked, and maybe you notice they have something in common. Pretty much every day someone tells me, "You know something? (and I already know exactly what they're going to say) I like the photos where you don't know they're being taken most". I humbly suggest that what you really like is not necessarily candid photos, but natural wedding photography. It really looks like you, enjoying a moment, being yourself. You might be pleased to know this is the person we all see when no one's taking your picture.
For your wedding, you're going to need a mixture of candid photos (love those), photos where you're looking at the camera, and photos where you're not looking, but you do know I'm there. You really can't photograph an entire wedding hiding in bushes and sneaking up on people. It'd be weird. The challenge is to get all of these photos while maintaining that special quality of looking...natural. What you need is a photographer with the skills, the kit and the light to make you look wonderful fast, and the ability to keep you feeling confident and relaxed. This is what I do.
fun, candid images
Most couples I meet, one or both of them tell me they hate having their photos taken. But here’s the ironic part – you look fantastic! Especially on your wedding day wearing the most expensive clothes you’ve ever had, and hair/makeup you started working on…well, now. Your friends and family tell you how great you look, and they mean it. For someone in this position to hate their photos makes me really sad. I’ve made it my professional and personal mission to change this.
relaxed, natural photos
A real smile lasts for a second. So my job is to capture the real smile, not try to fake one. Here's how I do it. First of all, there's no fiddling with cameras. I've been doing this for 15+ years and I know what all the buttons do. That stuff happens almost automatically now, and I spend my main focus on you and your guests. Seeing opportunities, blending in, sensing how you're feeling and what you need from me. I like to pay attention and understand what things mean to you. I find out who the people are (and use their names!) and I know how much to join in to draw out fun expressions or put people at ease, and how much to hang back and let events unfold. It's a balance that's different for every couple.
So some of the photos will be completely candid, and some will be with just a little direction. But never too much. I don't want to pose every last finger and hair, but I might put you in flattering lighting and let you be you. I might straighten myself up or tilt my head and see if you copy me, and then say something stupid to make you laugh. But if you're just being yourselves and having fun I won't say a thing, I'll just fire away.
Trust is absolutely essential to my work. An engagement shoot is very helpful to show you what I can do and how much you're going to love your photos. And it's great to get to know each other in the lead up to your wedding. By the time the day comes, it should feel like I'm a friend you invite as a guest. Apart from technical expertise and professionalism (which are very important, don't get me wrong) what you need to find is someone kind and interesting, who you'd enjoy spending the day with anyway.
I think the perfect natural wedding photography coverage is the view that a guest would have at your wedding. Maybe a bridesmaid or someone close to you. Imagine attending a wedding without a camera, taking pictures only with your eyes. You see the decoration and details - click. You see the couple walk through the courtyard and their faces light up with a broad, welcoming smile - click. But they don't stand there grinning like idiots, maybe they move on and you see them from the side as they talk to someone or look towards each other - click.
When you look at your wedding album in twenty years time, you're going to see your wedding through my eyes. The things I noticed, and people I interacted with. This is why it's so important to choose a photographer who shares your ideas and who you'll enjoy working with.
"Thank you so much for the albums they are beautiful! We are absolutely over the moon with them. You really have made the whole experience from start to finish so easy. I can't say thank you enough, you've been so accommodating and just awesome! You really made my year when you agreed to come all the way to Cornwall for our engagement photos, that really did mean so much to us. It really is wonderful what you do and you should both be so proud!" - Andy & Becky, Pendennis Castle